Tater Vera is a Cusco native from a family with a deep love of art and antiques. This little gem of a ceramic store is located in San Blas on Suyt’uqhatu street and is definitely worth a visit if you enjoy high quality ceramics.
Tater Vera specializes in the glazed ceramic technique that was traditional in Cusco following the arrival of the Spaniards back in the 15th century. After the earthquake in Cusco in 1950 most of the potters lost their workshops and shut up shop. It was no longer a viable business with the arrival of cheaper materials like plastic and metals on the market. Tater became interested in ceramics back in 1990 and started investigating the glazed ceramic technique with the vision of saving this lost art from extinction.
Thus started a love affair with pottery that involved ten years of study at the School of Fine Arts in Cusco where he learnt to create his unique pieces. Tater originally began by creating replicas of traditional colonial pottery – vases, jars and plates using the traditional symbols and imagery. Slowly his work has evolved always using the traditional techniques as a base but with a more contemporary twist with brighter colours and new shapes and forms.
Tater has won numerous awards for his work including most recently the UNESCO Excellence Award for Handicrafts in 2014 and is remarkably approachable as an artist. We were expecting an older perhaps more senior man when we went to visit Tater recently and were pleasantly surprised by the sprightly, playful 50 year old man who greeted us with a smile.
His most popular pieces include the ‘Toros Cusqueños’ or Cusco Bulls, the hen series and his colourful array of plates and bowls which are also items that can fit in your suitcase to take home. He also creates stunning larger pieces that are on display in the luxury Palacio Nazarenas and Palacio del Inka hotels and include large urns, nativity scenes and vases.
No two pieces are the same and each piece is created entirely by hand using purely ancestral techniques. Tater works with a group of female potters from the town of Raqchi and with students from the School of Fine Arts to help train and spread these traditional pottery techniques. He welcomes visitors to his studio in the district of San Sebastian and is more than happy to share his story and passion with visitors.
Definitely worth a visit if you want to pick up a beautiful, unique keepsake from your trip!
Best of Peru Travel Recommends:
- They will ship items internationally so if you fall in love with a bigger piece they will make sure it finds its way safely to your home.
- If you have more time and are a serious pottery lover, a visit to the workshop In the San Sebastian area of Cusco is definitely worth it! Call the shop on (+51) 84 506 228 to make an appointment.